The good, old table: it’s the centrepiece of your home – but what belongs at its centre?

Often, these items showcase our lifestyle and personal flair. As the backdrop for champagne-fuelled celebrations and spectacular cuisine, tables also shine the spotlight on your unique aesthetic.

From art-deco to classic European elegance – all of these elements say a lot about your own sense of interior design. The team at Living Interiors are often asked for guidance on how to create flawless but functional decorative solutions.

Ultimately, there are no rules when it comes to design, only preferences. However, some elements make a tablescape timeless. Here are our top tips for creating the ultimate look.

Aim for elegance and blend it with simplicity

Dining rooms are often occasions for more 'formal' settings and entertaining, whether it's an evening family catch-up or a weekend – or ad-lib – dinner party.

If you're looking to achieve an intricate etiquette, a table that is not 'dressed' at all times can look unfinished. But in our high-pressure lives, is it sustainable to maintain fresh floral arrangements and fancy styling every day?

As Italian icon Sophia Loren once said: “Simplicity is the essence of elegance'. A unique centrepiece, like the striking faceted Joker vase by B&B Italia, completes your table and looks extraordinary as a standalone piece.

It’s also practical. Focusing on a statement item – or a grouped set – allows easy storage and removal. Keep a decanter and glasses within reach; add whiskey, water or wine; and you’re ready to welcome guests who drop in with only a text message as notice.

Get all dressed up

To enhance your signature piece at dinner functions, simply add decorative elements like vases and candles. Beautifully formatted tables can include runners and layered linens; and earthy and natural elements (like driftwood, fruit, or herbs).

Think going beyond traditional floral arrangements, too. Sometimes outside-the-box works; bowls and vases can be filled with fruit, pebbles or shells, for example. The options are limited only by your imagination.

What about the coffee table?

A popular decorating motif for coffee tables is the concept of visual vignette. In a nutshell, this is a curated collection of items that reflect both your unique style and the ebb and flow of your life.

Designer candleholders nestled alongside seashells from a family beach trip; a favourite book; and a one-off antique lamp found at a Milan market – all of these stylistic elements portray sentimentality and jazz your space up at the same time.

Best of all, you can mix up these items as much as you like, or whenever inspiration strikes. Textures, shapes and fabrics can be explored, taking cues from your living space’s artworks and signature pieces.

Tip: Consider collating objects on a tray (in a complementary texture or hue) to create a cohesive, grouping effect. This also ensures you can move the items quickly to create more space if you need it.

Kitchen tables: the heart of the home

The hub of daily living, your kitchen is the scene of special, impromptu moments – from off-the-cuff brunches with neighbours to rainy-day family board games.

Sometimes it's not practical to display delicate items on your kitchen table or bench. Instead, experiment with a shift away from the old-fashioned fruit bowl, and towards a table vignette. Incorporating artisanal products and mementoes discovered during family holidays is a delightful way to refresh the room at the heart of your house.

For minimalist spaces, a standalone vase featuring a dramatic cutting or branch unleashes a powerful impact. Alternately, a stunning pendant light suspended over a kitchen table is a simple, yet sophisticated touch.

Let your creativity flow

Some of your best memories unfold around the table: a platform for connection, joy and laughter with family, friends and guests. It can also be thought of as a canvas for creativity, so embrace it. Vases, candles, mementoes, gifts from nature –  these are the materials of a stylish layout.

Setting the scene: stylish solutions for jazzing up your table


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